Archive for the ‘biotech/medical’ category: Page 8

Mar 23, 2023

More Jobs for “Junk” DNA (Cont.)

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, employment

If “junk” DNA goes toxic, does that suggest it had an original normal function? See the conclusion of this new paper, “Native functions of short tandem repeats” (emphasis added):

Historically, repetitive elements within human genomes have been viewed as mostly unregulated ‘junk DNA’ that is not under selective evolutionary pressure. As such expansions of these repetitive elements are unfortunate accidents which become apparent and important only when they elicit highly penetrant and syndromic human diseases. Consistent with this line of reasoning, the field of REDs [Repetitive Element Diseases] has largely focused on emergent toxic mechanisms as drivers of disease only in the setting of large STR [Short Tandem Repeats] expansions rather than considering their pathology as alterations in the native functions played by these repeats in their normal genomic contexts. Here, we propose re-framing the discussion around repetitive elements in general — and STRs in particular — within human genomes.

Mar 23, 2023

A Single Enzyme Could Be Behind Some People’s Depression, Scientists Say

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

For a while now, we’ve known there’s a complex interplay between our hormones, guts, and mental health, but untangling the most relevant connections within our bodies has proved challenging.

New research has found a single enzyme that links all three, and its presence may be responsible for depression in some women during their reproductive years.

Wuhan University medical researcher Di Li and colleagues compared the blood serum of 91 women aged between 18 and 45 years with depression and 98 without. Incredibly, those with depression had almost half the serum levels of estradiol – the primary form of estrogen our bodies use during our fertile years.

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Mar 23, 2023

Nanotechnology could be used to treat lymphedema

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, engineering, nanotechnology

The human body is made up of thousands of tiny lymphatic vessels that ferry white blood cells and proteins around the body, like a superhighway of the immune system. It’s remarkably efficient, but if damaged from injury or cancer treatment, the whole system starts to fail. The resulting fluid retention and swelling, called lymphedema, isn’t just uncomfortable—it’s also irreversible.

When fail, typically their ability to pump out the fluid is compromised. Georgia Institute of Technology researchers have developed a new treatment using nanoparticles that can repair lymphatic pumping. Traditionally, researchers in the field have tried to regrow lymphatic vessels, but repairing the pumping action is a unique approach.

“With many patients, the challenge is that the lymphatic vessels that still exist in the patient aren’t working. So it’s not that you need to grow new vessels that you can think of as tubes, it’s that you need to get the tubes to work, which for lymphatic vessels means to pump,” said Brandon Dixon, a professor in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. “That’s where our approach is really different. It delivers a drug to help lymphatic vessels pump using a nanoparticle that can drain into the diseased vessels themselves.”

Mar 23, 2023

This Lab-Grown Brain Made a Muscle TWITCH, Here’s How

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, neuroscience, quantum physics

Growing brains can be a tricky process, but growing ones that can make muscles move? That’s an incredible feat. Here’s how scientists did it.

How Close Are We to Farming Human Body Parts? —

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Mar 23, 2023

Researchers detail groundbreaking Angelman syndrome development

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, neuroscience

Researchers at Texas A&M University have developed the first molecular therapeutic for Angelman syndrome to advance into clinical development.

In a new article, published today in Science Translational Medicine, Dr. Scott Dindot, an associate professor and EDGES Fellow in the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences’ (VMBS) Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, and his team share the process through which they developed this novel therapeutic candidate, also known as 4.4.PS.L, or GTX-102. Dindot is also the executive director of molecular genetics at Ultragenyx, which is leading the development of GTX-102.

Angelman syndrome (AS) is a devastating, rare neurogenetic disorder that affects approximately 1 in 15,000 per year; the disorder is triggered by a loss of function of the maternal UBE3A gene in the brain, causing , absent speech, movement or balance disorder, and seizures.

Mar 23, 2023

Using oral contraceptives leads to higher risk of breast cancer among older women, reveals study

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

More than 150 million women worldwide use oral contraceptives to avoid unwanted pregnancies. However, a bombshell study released by researchers at the University of Oxford has now laid bare the risks involved. The study has reportedly established the link between the usage of progestogen and the increased risk of breast cancer.

Mar 23, 2023

Gut microbiome can play key role in response to CAR-T cell cancer immunotherapy

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Scientists from German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), together with colleagues from Germany, Israel, and the U.S., have found that the gut microbiome may modulate the efficacy of CAR-T cellular immunotherapy CAR-T cells in patients with B cell lymphomas. Individualized microbiome information retrieved from patients’ gut microbiomes prior to initiation of CAR T therapy could accurately predict their subsequent responsiveness to therapy, but only in the condition that these patients were not pre-treated with broad spectrum antibiotics.

Increasing evidence from and preclinical experiments suggests that the gut microbiome may modulate the efficacy of T cell-driven cancer immunotherapies, such as immune checkpoint blockade. Immunotherapy with CD19 (CAR)-T cell has opened up new treatment options for with certain forms of refractory and relapsing B-cell leukemias or lymphomas. But the therapy is hampered by considerable heterogeneity in responses. Complete and long-term remission is only achieved in up to 40% of patients.

Researchers from multiple centers in Germany and the United States, led by Eran Elinav, director of the DKFZ-Weizmann Institute of Science Microbiome & Cancer Bridging division, have found that the gut microbiome may modulate the efficacy of CD19 CAR-T cell immunotherapy in patients with B cell leukemias and lymphomas.

Mar 23, 2023

How simple sound and light are treating Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

In this exclusive excerpt from ‘Your Brain on Art,’ we learn how sounds and images are proving to measurably heal the brain.

Mar 23, 2023

Telomere shortening—a sign of cellular aging—linked to signs of Alzheimer’s in brain scans

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, life extension, neuroscience

Changes in the brain caused by Alzheimer’s disease are associated with shortening of the telomeres—the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes that shorten as cells age—according to a new study led by Anya Topiwala of Oxford Population Health, part of the University of Oxford, UK, published March 22 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.

Telomeres on chromosomes protect DNA from degrading, but every time a cell divides, the telomeres lose some of their length. Short telomeres are a sign of stress and cellular aging, and are also associated with a higher risk of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Currently, little is known about the links between and changes that occur in the brains of people with neurological conditions. Understanding those relationships could offer insights into the biological mechanisms that cause neurodegenerative disorders.

In the new study, researchers compared telomere length in to results from brain MRIs and from more than 31,000 participants in the UK Biobank, a large-scale biomedical database and research resource containing anonymized genetic, lifestyle and from half a million UK participants.

Continue reading “Telomere shortening—a sign of cellular aging—linked to signs of Alzheimer’s in brain scans” »

Mar 23, 2023

Researchers identify neutrophils as major culprits in treatment resistance of pancreatic cancer

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

Researchers have shown for the first time exactly how immature neutrophils—white blood cells that are an important part of the immune system—are hijacked by pancreatic cancers to drive immunosuppression and treatment resistance. The study, led by investigators at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, is published in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

The paper describes a previously unrecognized signaling circuit in pancreatic cancer that instigates immunosuppression and tumor-promoting inflammation in the pancreatic tumor microenvironment, ultimately creating treatment resistance. The central regulator of this treatment resistance is neutrophil-derived TNF signaling. TNF, or , is a substance in the body that causes inflammation.

This is the first study to implicate immunosuppressive signaling from immature neutrophils—the earliest sentinels in developing pancreatic cancer—in this process, said Jashodeep Datta, M.D., associate director of Translational Research at the Sylvester Pancreatic Cancer Research Institute. Datta, whose laboratory at Sylvester led the research, is senior author of the multicenter study.

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